Everything You Know About Dracula is Wrong
It's 2014, so of course there's someone on the internet to blow your mind with insane facts about Dracula. Thanks, internets!
Popular history has Dracula, the creation of Bram Stoker, to have been based on a real life warlord: Vlad the Impaler. But apparently that is not so!
This bout of total Halloween nerdery comes courtesy of iO9:
The truth is, there's no evidence that Bram Stoker was even aware of the name Vlad III—much less that he was called "Vlad the Impaler." Miller warns that we can't assume that Stoker's notes are the end-all, be-all of the creation of Dracula, but they do provide the only factual information we currently have about Stoker's research. And the notes tell us exactly where Stoker got the name "Dracula."
While in Whitby in the summer of 1890 (after, it should be noted, his much-discussed dinner with Vambery), Stoker came across a copy of William Wilkinson's book An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia. We know that, because he copied sections of the book into his notes. Wilkinson's book contains references to multiple voivodes named Dracula.
So why did Stoker choose that name, Dracula? Well, we can infer that from his own notes. He copied information from a footnote from Wilkinson's book that read in his own notes, "DRACULA in Wallachian language means DEVIL," with those capital letters.
Okay, but... what?
Through Stoker's notes, we can also see how the novel changed over time. Originally, the count wasn't from Transylvania at all; he was from Styria in Austria. And it appears that before he came across the name Dracula, Stoker was calling his vampire "Count Wampyr." (The pages that reference "Count Wampyr" are undated, but in some places, Stoker crosses out "Wampyr" and replaces it with "Dracula.").
All I know is "Wampyr" isn't nearly as badass as "Dracula." So there you go. A little history for the day.
And now, I leave you with this Rocket From the Crypt album that has nothing at all to do with the above article, but has Dracula in the title.
Okay, you want something spookier? Here's a Scouring-The-Internet-For-Dracula-Facts jam.